Security Management and Capacity Development: International agencies working with local partners

EISF Secretariat, Iesha Singh


Local partner organisations are a growing component of implementing humanitarian programmes. This Briefing Paper looks at the issues of security risk management which can arise when international agencies work with local partners.

The objectives of this paper are twofold:

  • to provide a better understanding of issues related to security and any interconnected responsibility of INGOs towards supporting the security of their local partners
  • to provide insights into approaches that can be used by INGOs to improve support to their local partners in terms of security management by discussing existing practices and tools.

The paper sets out three different models of partnerships between INGOs and local organisations, discussing how these models affect the INGO/local organization relationship and ways of working. Responsibilities – both legal and ethical – which arise as a consequence of a partnership between an INGO and a local organization are then considered. The paper goes on to examine existing tools and approaches to partner support, before discussing the various challenges and questions which remain when considering support to partner organisations on security management. Practical tools that can be adapted are shared in the annexes.

The paper notes four key areas for support to local partners in current practice:

  1. Development of organizational security policies and strategies
  2. Knowledge transfer and capacity development
  3. Communication and information exchange
  4. Provision of physical resources